Chordates •

Malabar spiny dormouse

(Platacanthomys lasiurus)



The Malabar spiny dormouse (Platacanthomys lasiurus) is a species of muroid rodent endemic to the Western Ghats of India.It is the only extant species in the genus Platacanthomys and although resembling a dormouse,it is not closely related.About the size of a brown rat,this arboreal species lives in tree holes in dense forest habitats in a small family group.They are distinguishable from other species in the area by their bushy tuft tip to the tail and the spiny fur on the backThis rodent is about 5 in long with a 4-in tail.The ears are large and pointed at the tip.The whiskers are numerous and some are very long.The hairy tail is covered with longer hairs towards the end,making the tail wider at the tip.The hairs arise on the sides towards the base of the tail (an arrangement termed as "subdistichous") giving the tail a slightly flattened appearance.The pollux ("thumb") and hallux ("big toe") are without claws.The skull is broad and flat above and the infraorbital foramen is large.They are brownish above and whitish below with a distinct border.The feet are whitish.The tip of the tail is sometimes whitish,but is otherwise like the colour of the back.The fur on the back has scattered broad and flat spiny hairs with white tips.Finer spines are also found on the fur of the underside

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammalia
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